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Road to Nowhere: A Sylvia Wilcox Mystery (Book 5-DIGITAL Copy)

Road to Nowhere: A Sylvia Wilcox Mystery (Book 5-DIGITAL Copy)

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Sylvia Wilcox takes on a case for an old friend. On the surface, the circumstances seem clear cut. She expects the case to be simple and easy to resolve, but when a body turns up in a barren, desert landscape, Sylvia hits the road and focuses on securing justice for an innocent victim. (EBOOK-This book will be delivered instantly through email.)

Main Tropes

Private detective, female sleuth, missing person, murder mystery, western


A young man takes a coming-of-age trip to the western United States. We he falls out of touch, Sylvia Wilcox takes the case.

Intro In Chapter One

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon in a rural enclave of Wyoming. Abby Carter called Sarah Newman just after noon, eager to show off her new driver's license.  Just minutes outside of Evanston, the windswept low desert was quiet and isolated. The unincorporated area where Sarah lived with her parents was desolate and empty. Their ranch was one of the few occupied properties in the area. Abby lived closer to town, and since she had a car and Sarah didn’t, the invitation was easy to accept. 

Eager to enjoy the rest of the hot, dry Sunday afternoon, Sarah had headed outside and rushed down the long driveway to open the gate before heading back to the house. She’d impatiently paced on the hard, inhospitable land that made up their front yard. 

The beige, twenty-year-old Honda Accord eased into Sarah's driveway ten minutes before one o'clock. First, the girls headed to a local fast-food joint—Ridley's, where they ordered burgers, fries, and shakes. Sarah wasn’t terribly hungry, but the thrill of being sixteen, having her own money, and being out with Abby inspired her to buy more food than she wanted. The girls ate outside in front of the restaurant, laughing and talking about boys and the upcoming school year. The experience was innocent and pleasant, the way a long summer day should be for teenage girls. 

After a few bites of their burgers, Abby stared off into the distance and said, “Let's go to Piedmont.”


“Why not?”

Sarah couldn't come up with a reason not to head to the local ghost town, and Abby was the driver, so why not? Sarah packed up the rest of her food and followed her friend back to the car. On the drive over, they made small talk until the speed limit increased. Abby pressed the accelerator in spurts, causing reckless laughter to fill the car. Once they hit the interstate, Abby weaved in and out of the sparse traffic, causing Sarah to let out a nervous giggle that eventually gave way to youthful outbursts. The wind howled through the valley, roaring into the open windows of the car and drowning out the girls' laughter. 

Exiting the interstate, the girls headed down a dirt road. The mid-July sun beat down overhead without a cloud in sight, and tall wavy stalks of brown grass flowed and waved along the edge of the road. As they moved further away from the town, nature began to take over. A lonely patch of quaking aspens sat in the midst of hard-packed, abandoned ranch land. Cattle milled across the road, causing the girls to stop and honk the horn, laughing as they waited for the cows to move out of their way. The dirt road was relatively smooth, with a rare groove or grate, and as the aged Honda Accord bounced down the dirt road, the girls sang along to a country song about boots and spurs. It was a playful summer Sunday afternoon in between the girls' eleventh and twelfth-grade years. Neither had a care in the world.

After passing the last remaining ranch in the area and heading over a steep incline, the girls spotted a car just a few miles from their destination. The dirt road ran through the low desert, twisting and turning through scrub brush, and at first, the car had looked like a mirage.

Coming around the edge of the dirt road, the girls saw that the old burgundy Volvo was covered in dust and the hood up was up. The vehicle, pulled to the side of the road, looked abandoned, but the girls hadn’t spotted anyone on the road. Where was the driver? With nothing but scrub brush and bushes around, the girls would have noticed someone walking back toward the highway. Anyone would have stood out on the lonely road. Abby slowed the car down to a crawl, easing toward the parked vehicle.

“Stop!” Sarah yelled, her voice quivering. “I think I see something.”

The still fingertips of a hand stretched out on the ground caught Sarah's eye. The lack of movement sent a chill through her body.

“Turn around,” she said, her voice steady and firm. Sarah regretted answering the phone that morning and agreeing to head out with Abby. Sarah, annoyed the car was still moving forward, reached over and grabbed the steering wheel.

“I said stop! Hit the brakes and turn around!”

The girls stopped and sat in the car for a moment, hesitant to get out and head toward the parked vehicle. Once Sarah was out of the car, she saw what looked like still, unmoving fingers. At that point, she didn't want to go any further.

 “We gotta do this,” Abby said, coming around the side of the car and putting her arm around Sarah's waist. Abby gripped Sarah’s side hard, indicating that going to the scene was not a choice. Unsure what to do, Sarah locked her knees, refusing to move forward. Abby's hand, shaking and sweating, struggled to drag her frightened friend closer to the car. Sarah, nervous and breathing hard, began walking again, but when they got close enough to make out what the lump in the road was, Sarah pulled back.

“No! I don't have to do this!” she yelled. 

Realizing that Sarah would not continue, Abby let her go and continued, reaching down to pick up a stick from the road. She slowly eased the short branch into the lump situated just beyond the worn threads of the front tire of the Volvo. Soft, muffled cries were coming from Sarah’s mouth, but she couldn’t move.

The body was turned on its side, twisted at the waist, and the legs were situated in a manner that suggested the victim may have been running, trying his best to flee, when he was killed. 

“We gotta get the cops,” Sarah said, her voice full of fear.

Reaching out with the stick, Abby, who was eerily calm, poked the body. Sarah broke into sobs and took off running down the road.

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